This final week of #YardFruits focuses on random fruits in my yard instead of a single fruit. Just some tidbits that don’t fit on a larger scope. Thanks for reading and I hope you learned something along the way.
Mayhaw (Crataegus) is a fruiting tree that grows native in Mississippi. You usually find it near wetland areas. The fruit is red but is not eaten raw. It is made into juice, jam, or jelly. A local company uses it in Kombucha. It has thorns, as it is in the hawthorn family.
Pineapple Guava (Feijoa sellowiana) is native to South America. It tolerates hot temperatures, but does better between 80-90 F. The mature fruit tastes of pineapple/guava/strawberry and emits a fragrant odor. It is a slow-growing shrub or tree up to 15 feet tall or so. More information can be found at this link: https://www.crfg.org/pubs/ff/feijoa.html.
False strawberry (Potentilla indica) is a species native to Asia but has become naturalized in many areas of the world. It produces an edible, tasteless, strawberry-like aggregate accessory fruit. I have heard of it being made into jam and jelly, but you’d need to pick millions of them!
Pomegranate (Punica granatum) plants don’t do especially well in hot, humid environments, although better variety selection may help. This young plant is producing flowers for the first time and it set 1 fruit. Pomegranates prefer a more Mediterranean climate. Fruit splitting/disease are problems in south Mississippi.
Southern dewberry (Rubus trivialis) grows wild in my yard producing small fruit. Since the middle (torus) is removed with the fruit it is considered a blackberry. This plant flowers early in spring, earlier than other blackberries. Growth habit is trailing and it has many prickles along stem.
Fuzzy raspberry (Rubus moluccanus var. trilobus) has origins in the Australasia region. It grows well in heat but doesn’t fruit much. The fruit produced is crumbly and isn’t especially tasty. But, it could be used more in breeding (IMO) because of its exceptional heat tolerance.
Poison ivy (Toxicodendron radicans) and Virginia creeper (Parthenocissus quinquefolia) are both weed species, yet they have edible fruit-bearing relatives. Virginia creeper is in the grape family Vitaceae. Poison ivy is in Anacardiaceae which includes mangoes, pistachios, and cashews.
Bonus! I wish I had Pawpaw (Asimina triloba) in my yard but I don’t (yet). This small tree has the largest native edible fruit in North America. In the Annonaceae family, it is related to tropical fruits like cherimoya, sweetsop, and soursop. An understory tree, it grows very well in shade (but produces more fruit in sun). This photo is from the MSU Horticultural Unit in Beaumont, MS.